You should pump your septic tank every three to five years. This is an excellent rule to follow if you recently purchased a septic tank and have a small family. This rule might not work for all septic tanks, but it is a good way to figure out how much the tank has been used. Pumping frequency is generally determined by several parameters, such as septic tank size, sludge and scum levels in your septic tank, the number of people in the house, and their behaviors.

When a septic system is set up, the wastewater from your house goes to a tank, where it is separated into scum, sludge, and effluent. Sludge settles to the bottom of the tank, where microbes and other bacteria live. The sludge will be consumed and dissolved by them.

Scum floats at the top because it is lighter and composed of fats, grease, and oil. The watery effluent middle layer, on the other hand, is directed to the drainage or leach field, where dirt acts as a filtration system to treat the liquid waste. The issue arises when there is too much sludge at the bottom of the tank and bacteria are unable to break it down. As a result, there is an overflow in the drain field. That is why tank pumping is essential.

How Often Should You Pump Your Septic Tank Out

This is a question that the majority of individuals who do not live in the city have frequently. Because most cities have community waste disposal systems, most homeowners rarely have to worry about how their wastewater is disposed of. There is a need to be more aggressive about sewage disposal for additional residences not located within the city or houses not connected to the municipal sewage system.

We are led to believe that septic systems are indestructible, but in truth, 10–30% of systems fail each year. Overload is one of the primary reasons why septic tanks need to be emptied regularly, and just because there haven’t been any serious problems doesn’t mean that the job of keeping them properly maintained should be ignored.

Bacteria turn most of the solids in septic tanks into liquids, but there are still some solids left, so the tank needs to be drained regularly. These solids either degrade slowly or do not disintegrate at all. These sediments accumulate in two layers within the tank over time.

If you don’t pump the septic tank often enough, the drain field could fail early, which could lead to expensive repairs. When the septic tank is pumped too regularly, a lot of money might be wasted. As a result, it is critical to understand how frequently one must pump his or her septic tank.

It’s best to hire a professional to pump out the septic tank because they know how to deal with the waste and get rid of it at a place that’s been approved.

Can You Wait Longer to Pump Out Septic Tank?

If you live alone and do not use your septic system frequently, you can wait up to ten years before draining your tank. You may believe that pumping your septic tank waste less regularly will save you money, but you won’t be able to tell if the tank is working properly. This is why the tank should be repaired once a year.

A septic service examination of the tank can tell you how well it is working. This is an excellent time to learn about any issues you may be experiencing with the tank. You may have these little issues resolved now and not have to worry about them later. At the same time, you’ll find out if any big issues need to be addressed. You can keep the tank in good shape, and it can withstand the strain of years of flushing.

How Do You Set Up Your Tank Pumping?

Call a local septic service technician to pump out the septic tank waste and examine the tank. You do not need to be there when they come to your home. They handle everything and ensure that you understand how your septic tank works so that you can take better care of it. If you have any questions, you may ask them, and they will tell you how long it will be until you need to pump your septic tank.

How to Determine Whether your Septic Tank Is Full

To begin, locate and carefully remove the septic tank cover. Be very careful not to crack or break the heavy lid, and never leave the tank open without someone watching it. The tank is 4-5 feet underground and can be harmful if a person or a pet falls in.

The next step is to look at the top of the scum trap to see how thick the scum layer is. Generally, you should pump your septic tank when the scum level reaches 6 inches.

The second and more complicated procedure is to measure the level of sludge at the tank’s bottom. You can buy a specific measuring stick for the level of sludge, or you can make your own. Simply take a seven-foot-strong stick or two-by-four and wrap an 18- to 24-inch velcro strip around it, beginning at one end. The velcro end will be inserted into the tank.

Keeping the measuring stick upright, slowly lower the velcro end of the stick straight down into the septic tank, even through the thick sludge at the bottom, until you feel the stick touch the tank’s bottom. Then, take out the measuring stick and hold it straight up to inspect the velcro strip.

Because the black, thick sludge will adhere to the velcro, you’ll be able to estimate how many inches of sludge are at the bottom depending on the length of the velcro strip on the stick. We recommend that the septic tank be pumped as soon as the sludge level exceeds 1 foot (12 inches).

Importance of Professional Septic Tank Pumping

Do you recognize any of the above symptoms? If this is the case, please be aware that your situation will only worsen, not improve. As a result, you should never try to “ride it out.” If you put off septic line pumping, you risk raw sewage entering your home, which might cause major structural or property damage.

What Factors Influence Septic Tank Pumping Frequency?

Many factors might have a direct impact on how frequently you need to pump your septic tank. Even if you only need your septic tank emptied every two years in most circumstances, there may be periods when you require it more frequently.

The number of people living in your home is one of the most important criteria in determining how frequently your septic tank needs to be drained. If the number of people living in your home goes up a lot, you should also have your septic tank pumped more often.

Remember that the more people that visit your home, even if they are simply passing through, the more wastewater will enter your septic system. You should also think about how old your septic system is, how big the tank is, how the amount of water you use changes with the seasons, and if you use any general additives.

The Benefits of Regular Septic Tank Pumping

The Original Plumber recommends that Georgia consumers stick to the three-to-five-year period wherever possible. Even if you are not currently experiencing any problems, there are numerous benefits to maintaining a regular septic tank pumping schedule.

To begin with, routine septic tank pumping gives you peace of mind. Problems with your septic tank can happen at bad times, like when you have guests coming over. You may avoid a last-minute surprise by getting your septic tank emptied regularly.

Regular septic pumping might also help you avoid costly septic tank repairs. We will inspect your drain field, drain pipes, and septic lines while pumping your tank. We are frequently able to identify minor issues before they become major ones. By making the right repairs, you can extend the life of your septic tank system by a lot.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

How to determine if your septic tank is full:

  • You are having difficulty flushing your toilet because it is continuously backing up.
  • Your pipes are gurgling or draining slowly.
  • Suddenly, your property is covered in lush, green grass.
  • Water begins to accumulate in your yard.
  • Your house or yard stinks of sewage.

Can a septic tank be pumped too often?

If you pump your septic tank too frequently, germs will have nowhere to go but out into the drain field, causing clogs and failures. So, it is best to leave your septic tank alone until the amount of sludge and scum in it reaches a certain level.

How do you know when to pump your septic tank?

Continue reading to learn about the six telltale indicators that your septic tank needs to be pumped.

  • Pooling water 
  • Foul odors. 
  • Slow drains. 
  • Sewage backup. 
  • Drain field grass health.
  • Nitrate concentration.

How long can a septic tank go without being pumped?

In general, a septic tank should be inspected once every one to three years and pumped once every three to five years. The frequency with which the septic tank is pumped is determined by the tank’s size, the number of people in the household, water usage habits, and the number of solids accumulated in the tank.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

The average cost of pumping a septic tank is around $400, while prices for most residential tanks can range between $225 and $600.

How do I clean my septic tank naturally?

This approach is a quick, mild, and effective remedy. This procedure necessitates the use of baking soda, vinegar, and lemon. To begin, combine a quarter cup of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar and pour them immediately into the toilet. Then stir in two tablespoons of lemon juice.

Should I fill my septic tank with water after pumping?

Based on many years of experience with residential septic systems, we’ve learned that after your septic tank has been pumped, you usually don’t need to add anything to it.


When it comes to septic system maintenance, pumping is one of the most basic things you can do to keep it running well. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of how frequently their septic tank should be drained. Whether you’re new to a property with a septic tank or you’re just trying to find out how to care for the one you’ve had for a while, we’ve gone over some of the basics of how often you should pump your septic tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process of pumping a septic tank?

When you hire a professional to pump your septic tank, they will follow the following procedure:

  • Check the liquid level in the tank.
  • Pump solid waste into a holding tank using a hose lowered into the tank.
  • Keep an eye out for backflow while pumping.
  • Backflush the system
  • Examine the tank for damage.
  • Remove the filter (if included)

Is it necessary to have my septic tank pumped?

It is vital to have your septic tank pumped at some point. Even enormous tanks eventually fill up with muck, and if they aren’t pumped, they won’t function correctly.

What happens if you never pump your septic tank?

If you don’t have your septic tank pumped or emptied regularly, solid material that doesn’t be discharged through the drainage field will continue to pile up, causing the tank to overflow and sewage and wastewater to back up into your property.

Related Articles:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like